6 September 2015
On a gorgeous early autumn day, HHH men and women gave an excellent account on behalf of the mid-London division, the men taking back the champions’ trophy, and the women gaining 4th place out of 7 teams in their debut at the Southern Counties Vets Final in Ashford, Kent:
Epsom & Ewell Harriers 245, Dartford Harriers 197, Winchester & District 188, Herne Hill Harriers 178, Stevenage & North Herts 172, Blackheath & Bromley 148, Abingdon 138.
The HHH women’s indomitable team spirit held true. Despite depleted numbers through last minute injury and unavailability, just 12 competitors managed to cover all the events except pole vault. It was a big ask against tough competition but more than half of the 50 events covered (including relay legs) produced personal and season’s bests, demonstrating the Herculean – or should I say Amazonian – effort exhibited on the day:
Alexandra Shamloll – pbs in 100m, 200m and sb in 400m
Patrizia Gnoato – pbs in 200m, long and triple jumps, sbs in 400m and then 400m relay
Gillian Wheeldon – pb in 1500m and sb in 200m
Nikki Sturzaker – pbs in 800m and 400m relay leg
Nicola Richmond – pb in the 400m relay leg and sb in 800m
Mandy Brown – pbs in 2000m Walk, 3000m and sb in 400m
Natalie Zara – pb in 3000m (by 36.17 secs)
Sharon St Luce – equivalent pb in high jump and sb in triple jump
Barbara Macanas – sb in long jump
Penelope Cummings’ pb in the 2000m Walk was predicted by an adversary who upon hearing Penelope was there, said with a sigh “Oh well, that’s that won then.” Penelope left an astounding 36.74 seconds between her and 2nd place – enough time for a nice cup of tea!
Demonstrating their versatility and dedication on the day, let’s not forget first-time pbs: Claire Steward and Natalie stepping up to cover the 100m, Claire’s 400m, Mandy’s discus and Patrizia (taking on a 6th event to fill the gap) at high jump.
Special mention must be made of Sharon who after 6 events also volunteered for the 4x100m relay, and of Claire who after injury in the 100m soldiered on and even managed (after the 400m) to come 2nd in the 800m and win the 3000m with a comfortable margin. Also of Kathleen Moeller covering the throws – it must have seemed very lonely out there!
In the final event – the 4x400m relay – Alexandra, Patrizia, Nicola and Nikki gathered every ounce of remaining strength to slash the team pb by 22.95 secs and leave 8.13 secs of fresh air before the 2nd place team crossed the line. What a way to end the day!
Well, several visits to the sports masseur helped, but with an average of 4+ events each (compared for example to 2+ events each for the men’s team) the message is clear: we must recruit additional team members to share the load.
I could not have asked for more on the day and take my hat off to these ladies – a source of great inspiration. Long may we persevere!
Roll on 2016!
For full results CLICK HERE